Is your junk holding you back?

Posted: 15 Apr
Is your junk holding you back?

Is your junk holding you back?

I am not keen on waste. Whether it is wasting time,  wasting money, or wasting food, I go out of my way to manage it. I do not know if that is a product of my family heritage or because of that tough time when we fought to pay every bill. Or maybe I was just into sustainability way before it was fashionable. Either way, it has given me a new favourite game. It is called "What can we have for dinner to clear out the kitchen before we move". There have been some interesting combos. The Pickle Ice-cream was definitely a conversation starter. You could describe it as a little bit like me, kind of sweet but a little bit weird.

The kitchen item that surprised me the most in the clean-up was the spice jar that was marked as best before March 2007. That little bottle has lived in three of our homes. I cannot believe I have packed and moved the same Allspice jar so many times. I do not even remember ever using it in a recipe. Needless to say, it has now been recycled and has moved on to spice heaven. Not only the kitchen contents are feeling lighter, but we are too. Moving is hard, but also chucking out your junk is definitely cathartic.

 All this clean up and recycling did make me think about how we should follow through with these kind of methods in business as well as in life. We have all met the small business owner who is averse to change. They hang onto business processes that are not working way longer than they should because they either don’t know better or are too nervous to move from the familiar. We spot the opportunities for improvement quickly and it is often our job, as their trusted advisor, to hold their hand, act as their cheerleader and move them towards efficiency. That is actually one of the favourite parts of what we do. It is a privilege and a pleasure to help them on their journey.

 But what about our businesses? Do we use the same critical eye to look for improvements or do we have someone we can trust to make suggestions to help us improve? If we don’t, it is often because a lack of time. We don’t take time out to breathe and think. I have just had the latest quarterly planning session with my Accountability Buddy. We each have a bookkeeping practice; we each have goals for our businesses, and we meet once a quarter to bounce ideas off each other and hold each other accountable. That time away from the tools is so valuable that I wish I had started it earlier. If you do not already do something like this, start! It is totally worth it.

 But I digress, back to waste. Since COVID, we have worked 100% remote and have been paper free. It certainly makes moving easier, but I had been hanging onto old notebooks and paper files from when the practice started in 2014 just in case, I ever needed to refer to something. What a waste of space! This move has encouraged me to be brutal. Anything important, I have engaged my trusty ScanSnap to capture and file the documents. Everything else, has been shredded. Remember that scene in Argo when they were shredding documents in the embassy? That is what my office looked like for a whole weekend. I am just like a movie star, but boy, am I travelling lighter.

 So, my advice is take a look around your home, office, or business. What could do with some change for the better? If it is holding you back, ditch it. Just like your spice jars, you may be holding onto stuff that is way past it’s use by date.

 Stay ‘Appy!

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